‘The sunshine of my life’: 15 of the sweetest quotes from President Nelson, Apostles about their wives

Here’s a look back at what the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have said about their eternal companions over the years.

In a talk given at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam in 2009, President Russell M. Nelson said of his wife Sister Wendy Nelson:

“I also know what it is to be blessed again by my Heavenly Father in marrying a second time, also to a woman of compassion and generosity of spirit, who has once again completed my family circle. Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with the companionship between a husband and a wife.”

In a 2002 BYU devotional entitled “Timing,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke of his late wife, Sister June D. Oaks, and his second wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks.

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks to youth with his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, prior to a devotional at the State Farm Stadium in Phoenix on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks to youth with his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, prior to a devotional at the State Farm Stadium in Phoenix on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, Deseret News

“When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later—a year and a half ago—I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side.

“I did not know why I received a ‘no’ answer to my prayers for the recovery of my wife of many years, but the Lord gave me a witness that this was His will, and He gave me the strength to accept it. Two years after her death, I met this wonderful woman who is now my wife for eternity. And I know that this also was the will of the Lord.”

Addressing faith leaders at a marriage summit at the Vatican in 2014, President Henry B. Eyring said of his wife Sister Kathy J. Eyring:

“I have become a better person as I have loved and lived with (my wife). We have been complementary beyond anything I could have imagined. Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together.”

President Henry B. Eyring and his wife, Sister Kathleen Eyring, arrive Saturday morning for the second day of the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, Aug.22, 2009 in South Jordan, Utah.
President Henry B. Eyring and his wife, Sister Kathleen Eyring, arrive Saturday morning for the second day of the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, Aug.22, 2009 in South Jordan, Utah. Credit: Gerry Avant, Deseret News, Deseret News

In an lds.org article, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is quoted saying this about his late wife Sister Barbara B. Ballard:

“I kid her now that getting her to agree to marry me was the greatest sales job I ever did.”

During October 2018 general conference, President Ballard said that it was a great comfort to know that he and his wife will be able to be together again.

“How grateful I am today to know where my precious Barbara is and that we will be together again with our family for all eternity,” he said.

In October 2016 general conference talk entitled “Fourth Floor, Last Door,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf praised his wife Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf:

“There is my beloved wife, Harriet, with whom I fell in love the first time I saw her.”

Later in his talk, he continued, saying:

“And the charming young woman—the one who had pleaded with her mother to listen to the missionaries—has the beautiful name of Harriet. She is loved by all who meet her as she accompanies me in my travels. She has blessed the lives of many people through her love for the gospel and her sparkling personality. She truly is the sunshine of my life.”

Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and her husband, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sits on the stand during a devotional on the BYU campus in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and her husband, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sits on the stand during a devotional on the BYU campus in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Credit: BYU Photo

In a 2000 BYU devotional entitled “How Do I Love Thee?” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of his wife Sister Patricia T. Holland:

“What I have learned of romantic love and the beauty of marriage I have learned from Sister Holland. I am honored to be her husband … As I once said of her, paraphrasing what Mark Twain’s Adam said of his Eve, ‘Wherever she was, there was paradise.'”

He said later in his talk: “To impair or impede her in any way for my gain or vanity or emotional mastery over her should disqualify me on the spot to be her husband.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen on Tuesday, April 14, 2009.
Elder Neil L. Andersen and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. Credit: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News, Deseret News

In his 1993 general conference talk “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord Qualifies,” Elder Neil L. Andersen said:

“I am grateful for my wonderful companion, Kathy. She makes goodness look easy, and the purity of her spirit keeps our family focused on the simple yet saving truths of the gospel.”

In an lds.org article, Elder Quentin L. Cook said of his wife Mary G. Cook:

“It would be hard to find anybody in the whole world who is as good and righteous and bright as she is. She has a wonderful sense of humor.

“We were friends long before we were anything else. I admired her before I fell in love with her, and marrying her was the best decision I have ever made.”

In October 2004 general conference, Elder David A. Bednar gave a talk entitled “In the Strength of the Lord” where he complimented his wife Sister Susan R. Bednar:

“My wife, Susan, is a virtuous woman and a righteous mother. You will quickly see that purity and goodness are evident in her countenance. I love her and appreciate her more than words can express. I thank her for the woman she is, for the lessons she has taught me, and for the love we share.”

In his talk “I Know in Whom I Have Trusted” from April 1993 general conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson said:

“Those who know my Kathy have observed that I married much above myself, a conclusion I heartily agree with. Our marriage is a gratifying thing, and I have not adequate words to express my love.”

Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and her husband, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sits on the stand during a devotional on Brigham Young University campus in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.
Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf and her husband, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sits on the stand during a devotional on Brigham Young University campus in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Elder Dale G. Renlund, Courtesy Elder Dale G. Renlund

In an lds.org article, Elder Dale G. Renlund said of his wife:

“Aside from the decision to be active in the Church, marrying Ruth has been the most amazing thing in my life.”

In an lds.org article, Elder Ronald A. Rasband said of his wife Sister Melanie T. Rasband:

“She knows when to draw me back, slow me down, and get it right. In large measure it’s her spiritual influence that has led to not only this beautiful and special calling but to everything that I’ve done spiritually. She’s kept me spiritually grounded.”

In his talk “Plain and Precious Truths” in October 2015 general conference, Elder Gary A. Stevenson said of his wife Sister Lesa H. Stevenson:

“She is the sunshine in and of my life and a remarkable daughter of God. Hers is a life punctuated by selfless service and unconditional love of all. I will strive to remain worthy of the blessing of our eternal union.”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong has said of his wife Sister Susan L. Gong:

“(She) is an extraordinary person. I think it’s fair to say that some of the opportunities that we’ve had are because of her and her being willing to go and try new things and meet new people. I’m grateful for that. She goes everywhere and does everything. People love her, and she loves them.”

Elder Ulisses Soares said this about his wife Sister Rosana F. Soares:

“Any good thing that happens in our lives is because of my faithful and loving wife. She’s devoted to Jesus Christ and His Church. … She is our mentor and blessing.”

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, take their seats prior to his speaking at a devotional at Brigham Young University in Provo on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, take their seats prior to his speaking at a devotional at Brigham Young University in Provo on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News, Deseret News